To achieve earthquake loss reduction internationally is important to theUnited States for several reasons. Collaboration on research leverages scarcefunds and allows access to a wider array of research results including thosederived from earthquakes which occur outside of our nation. Stimulationof increased earthquake mitigation internationally will help reduce lossof life and property and can help conserve funds dedicated to internationaldisaster assistance. NEHRP has helped to make the United States a leaderin earthquake assessment and mitigation technologies. Increased attentionto these activities by foreign countries provides U.S. companies with enhancedmarket opportunities.

The NEP gains substantially from international collaboration on earthquakeeffects, mitigation practices, and implementation strategies. It also gainsfrom professional and commercial associations throughout the world whichdevelop, publicize, and implement earthquake risk reduction practices. NEHRPand most participating non-NEHRP agencies participate in bi- or multi-lateralscience and technology programs. Examples of such collaboration are theU.S.-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR) Panel on Windsand Seismic Effects, the U.S.-People's Republic of China program on seismichazards and earthquake studies, the U.S.-Russia program on earthquake disasterreduction, the U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Working Group and its subcommitteeon Satellite Applications, and the U.S. participation in the InternationalDecade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The UJNR Panel on Wind andSeismic Effects, which began 27 years ago, allows researchers and practitionersof both countries to exchange specific technical data and personnel, andto collaborate on experimental work including large-scale testing. NineteenU.S. federal agencies, including the NEHRP agencies, and seven Japanesegovernment agencies participate in the panel activities.

In the area of research on crustal strain and earthquake processes, theGlobal Digital Seismograph Network (IRIS, NSF, and USGS) collects data from,and distributes information to, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. NSF isa major supporter of the International Seismic Centre, the world's maincollector and publisher of earthquake data. The United States cooperateswith countries throughout the world to improve global seismic monitoringand to understand earthquake hazards in seismically active regions of LatinAmerica, Asia, and Southern Europe. Scientific protocols have been renewedwith several members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (former SovietUnion) and the People's Republic of China to maintain a vigorous exchangeof seismic monitoring data. The Global Geodetic Network (NASA, NOAA, andNSF) uses high-resolution, space-based geodetic techniques, with permanentmeasurement sites on all continents, to monitor global crustal motion anddeformation, exchanging data and coordinating observations through agreementswith some 45 countries.

Transferring technology and providing training and expertise to earthquake-pronedeveloping countries so that they can implement hazard mitigation practicesis much cheaper than providing disaster relief after a devastating earthquake.The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with United Nations Educational,Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the U.S. State Department, currentlyprovides training and expertise on a reimbursable basis to improve earthquakehazard reduction in South America, Southern Europe, North Africa, the EasternMediterranean region, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, in cooperation withthe U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the Agency for InternationalDevelopment, the USGS provides technical assistance in South and CentralAmerica and Asia to develop a more uniform basis to assess earthquake risk.The program is achieving hazard reduction by developing a wide variety ofinformation and data exchange programs.

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Strategy for National Earthquake Loss Reduction